Nosizwe “Mama” Peter, Mentor Mother
When you think about being a Mentor Mother – what is the one word that describes how you feel about it?
Fortunate, I am fortunate and delighted to been selected to be a Mentor Mother after going through interviews and 5 weeks training.
What is the most important piece of equipment you carry with you in your backpack?
In my backpack the most important tool that I carry is the scale because I can tell from the weight if mother and child are not healthy. When there is no growth from the weight, I can assess more danger signs.
What is the most important thing you have learned as a Mentor Mother?
I learned support, our communities need people to advocate and support them to receive government services.
What is your proudest moment as a Mentor Mother?
My proudest moments of being a Mentor Mother is when I helped a woman who was in labour to get to the hospital and she delivered a healthy baby under my care and support. My other proud moment is when I helped a matriculant who was being kicked out of school because she had no identity document that would allow her to sit for her final examinations. I helped her get an ID and got back to school.
What has surprised you about being a Mentor Mother?
What has surprised me is the gratitude from the people in my community when they appreciate the support that I provide to them in their own homes.
What is the biggest change you have seen in your community since becoming a Mentor Mother?
Before I became a Mentor Mother most people in my community were using traditional medication, they did not go to the health facilities to seek for help when they are sick or their babies, since I became a Mentor Mother that has changed. I now see people adhering to chronic treatment, hospital deliveries and decreased number in malnourished children.
What do you enjoy speaking to your clients about and why?
I enjoy speaking about HIV&AIDS because it allows my clients to get a better understanding about it, through the health education, I have eliminated stigma and people can draw strength from me since I am living with HIV.
What do you do when a client isn’t following your advice?
When clients don’t follow my advice, I tell them about my personal experience of the same problems they are going through and what would happen if they do not listen. If they keep not following my advice, I then call a community nurse.
If you could ask for one thing that would assist you in your job during the COVID pandemic, what would it be?
At this stage I would say enough PPE to prevent the spread of COVID-19
What is the biggest impact COVID has had in your community thus far?
Loss of income, jobs, and school disruptions. More service delivery strikes by front workers and temporary closure of facilities.
How has COVID-19 made your job harder?
Turn around period on referrals has increased, poor service delivery on clients.
How many mothers and children do you look after in a year?
The number of mothers and children I see is roughly 120 combined.